Post-Vacation Blues

Our granddaughter heading back to our place on our last night of vacation

How do you feel when you come home from vacation?

I just returned from one week away on a beach. It is now late Sunday afternoon, we got back around noon. I feel sad – though, to be fair, I am also happy and relieved and at loose ends and tired….so many competing emotions.

I’m sad that it is over because time away from the routine that I so looked forward to and planned for is done; and, our week with our children and grandchildren is in the rearview mirror.

I am happy that we had the time together – we laughed, we dug holes and built sandcastles on the beach, we relaxed, we had good food and drink, we chatted, we annoyed each other (as family members do) and then moved on to enjoy each other again. I got to snuggle my granddaughters and now I am having physical withdrawal from being deprived of their company.

I miss the beach – the sound and rhythm of the waves, the changing color of the ocean, the people-watching, the snow-white gulls against the deep blue sky, the bright pops of color of umbrellas and towels dotting the sand. The cool breeze off the north Atlantic (the water temperature was 65!) taking the edge off the heat of the sun (and it was extremely hot). I took several walks along the shore and felt my blood pressure was likely measurably lower for having done so. Now I return to reality, the same view out my kitchen window. It is a nice view, but predictable and the one I see while preparing meals and washing dishes.

At the same time, It is a relief to be home – my own bed, with our kitties, the known. It is only the two of us that I need to consider rather than juggling the wants and needs of six others.

I feel a bit lost – not sure what I should do with myself, not very motivated to get to chores. Years ago, when we’d return from vacation and the kids were young, as soon as we got in the door, I got swallowed up by their immediate needs. I might not unpack my own suitcase for days! Hard to imagine that now. I didn’t have time to think. Now I do. I don’t want to return to that hectic time, but there is something to be said for it.

I reflect on the sights and sounds of the past week. We stayed in Salisbury, Massachusetts. I had never heard of the town before but was looking for a shore spot close to Somerville where our daughter, who gave birth ten weeks ago, lives. Salisbury is about an hour north of Boston, just below the border with New Hampshire. It is an interesting place, caught in a time warp. The stores, restaurants and arcades are stuck back in the 1970’s, with a touch of seediness, but charm, too. As the week wore on, I liked it more and more – unpretentious. It had all the essentials. We explored the shops, sampled the food and our granddaughter who is four years old, rode the carousel (she called it, adorably, the carobell) and she loved it. The beach itself was quite beautiful, wide with soft sand. Our unit was beachfront with a balcony facing the ocean. It was hard to leave.

Our visit to the area coincided with Yankee Homecoming, a week of festivities centered in nearby Newburyport. In celebration of that, Saturday night there were two fireworks displays we could see from our unit – one from the front balcony (which were launching from Newburyport) and one from the back that was a good deal closer in Salisbury. In fact we could see the barge that was moored not far offshore from where we were. We watched from our balcony – oohing and aahing. As is par for the course for me, I had mixed feelings as I watched. The sprays of color were beautiful, but I worried that the bursts of loud noises would wake the little ones and frighten them. Never mind the little ones, I am uneasy with loud explosions but I do love the result.  

Now I get reacquainted with the ordinary. How do you do it? Does re-entry feel like a letdown? Or, do you feel energized? Or maybe happy to have left and happy to be home? I’d love to hear.

Sun sets on another vacation – until next time

3 thoughts on “Post-Vacation Blues

  1. Ok so I just returned from vacation with my family and here is what I do …. See if any of this helps:
    1. I took a 90 minute nap.
    2. I hung out with Pam and occasionally glanced at the unpacked luggage.
    3. Texted josh and asked him if we are supposed to watch the twins today (this is a HUGE advantage. I have over you). He was puzzled as the answer was no but just the thought of it was pleasant.
    4. Woke up this morning at 715 and said should I do a little work I have; unpack, or even clean up? The shock of these peculiar thoughts put me back to sleep. For 4 hours.
    5. I woke up. Internally debated fiercely whether I should shower first or see if a hot pot of coffee might be waiting for me. The coffee won out.
    6. Paused for a moment to appreciate all of the freshly laundered clothing (and hot pot of coffee ) which awaited my waking up.
    7. Wondered about where Pam was and admired her for going for a walk (no doubt) in this muggy hot weather.
    8. Thinking about whether I could do a good deed and stop by my sisters house (unannounced) so she can provide me a brunch . Pam just got home so I have a feeling the unannounced part of my plan is not going to happen..
    9.. lastly, I reflect about how incredibly blessed I am to spend time with my Virginia based son and his family as well as the rest of the family. Remember : when you see a glass with a beverage in it you have 3 choices:
    A) is it half filled?
    B) is it half empty? Or
    C) has it overflowed?

    How you look at it is entirely up to you.

    PS: is Leah still adorable and Dan stunningly handsome? Just curious.


    1. In regard to your P.S., yes and yes :). I appreciate your thoughts. It’s good you didn’t stop by for brunch because you would have been sorely disappointed since I didn’t get to the supermarket yet. Anyway, you are correct – it is all about perspective and how we choose to look at it. It is something I continue to work on. Looking at photographs helps of those adorable kids helps too.


  2. I suspect everyone must have some sense of letdown when a vacation ends and they have to get back to the real world. And it is easy to say you can just choose which attitude to take, but I think that does not take into account each of our dispositions and life circumstances.
    It would be nice to end a vacation with a few more days to savor it. But then there is that whole real life thing. I hope that living with the good memories you created is of some comfort.
    Thank you for the excellent blog post.


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